LOGAN, W.Va. — Offense is nice but defense like that will win you a lot of games.
It was the Big Blacks’ defense that set them apart Friday night, as Point Pleasant held the host Wildcats to just 94 total yards en rout to a 37-21 victory in Logan County. Logan, which was averaging 43.3 points per contest before meeting Point Pleasant, was held to a season low 21 points in the game.
After a scoreless opening quarter the Big Blacks (3-0) got things going early in the second period, when quarterback Aden Yates punched into the endzone from one yard out. Colin Peal added the kick to put PPHS up 7-0 at the 9:55 mark.
Logan (3-1) answered on its ensuing drive when senior runningback Brynden Street found paydirt from three yards out. Daniel Hanks added the kick and tied the game at 7-7 with 7:06 to play in the half.
Point Pleasant wasted little time getting back in front as sophomore Cody McDaniel ran in from the two yard line at the 4:36 mark on the second quarter. Gage Buskirk ran in the two point conversion to extend the PPHS lead to 15-7. The Big Blacks weren’t done scoring in the first half, as Jon Peterson recovered a LHS fumble in the endzone to tack on six more points. Peal made the extra point kick to put Point Pleasant on top 22-7 at halftime.
Yates kicked off the second half in style, scoring on a 14 yard run at the 9:01 mark to put PPHS up 28-7, after the failed two point conversion. Yates found paydirt a third time with 4:46 remaining in the third period and, after Peal’s kick, put his squad up 35-7.
Logan got back on the board quickly as wide receiver Josh Rein returned the kickoff 90 yards for the touchdown. Hanks converted the kick and the Wildcats inched closer, 35-14. Rein found the endzone for the second time in three minutes when freshman quarterback Noah Corbett found him from 22 yards out for the score. Hanks added the point after and Logan trailed 35-21 at the end of the third period.
The Big Blacks defense picked back up in the fourth period and senior Levi Russell tackled a Wildcat in the endzone for a saftey. PPHS led 37-21 with 10:22 remaining in regulation and the score stayed right there for the duration.
The PPHS rushing attack was led by Cody Mitchell with 149 yards on 18 carries, followed by Chase Walton with 68 yards on 11 attempts. Yates rushed for 16 yards and three scores on 11 attempts, while Cody McDaniel had seven yards on three attempts. Austen Toler and Gage Buskirk each had one rush in the game, Toler ran for three yards, while Buskirk was stopped for no gain.
Yates was 3-of-7 passing for 76 yards with an interception, while Mitchell led the receiving core with one grab for 46 yards. Walton had one catch for 16 yards, while Brian Gibbs caught one pass for 14 yards.
Street led the Wildcats rushing attack with 37 yards on 16 tries, while Rein had 32 yards on two attempts. Tyler Vernatter had three carries for one yard, while Noah Corbett, Ryan Miller and Daniel Hanks all had negative rushing totals.
The freshman signal caller Corbett, who was filling in for injured starter Ryan Miller for the second straight game, was 5-of-15 through the air for 60 yards with a touchdown. Street led the way in receiving with 34 yards on a pair of grabs, while Rein had one 22 yard reception. Brett Musick had one catch for nine yards, while Clayton Marcum caught one pass for negative five yards.
As a unit the Big Blacks ran for 243 yards on 45 attempts, an average of 5.4 yards per carry. Logan ran 30 times for just 34 yards, just over one yard per attempt. PPHS held a 319-to-94 advantage in total offense and a 17-to-8 advantage in first downs. Each unit committed three turnovers.
The Big Blacks were penalized nine time for 72 yards, while Logan was setback four times for 23 yards. One of the Wildcats only advantages came on special teams; LHS held a 173-58 advantage in return yards. Both teams punted three times, Logan averaging 36 yards per punt, while Point Pleasant averaged 30.
There were 12 AAA schools unbeaten and ranked in the top 20 going in to play Friday night, and Logan, Matrinsburg, Cabell Midland, University, and Jefferson all lost.
Point Pleasant will return to the friendly confines of Ohio Valley Bank Track and Field next week to take on rival Winfield. The Generals will be rested, coming off their bye week.